Monday, June 13, 2016

One Down, Two To Go

Originally Posted: July 10, 2015
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Wow.  What an extraordinary week it has been working collaboratively with the Greentown School teachers.  I am already having difficulty putting into words my experiences of this week.  they were so amazingly unique and just all around wonderful.
The structure of the week was simple.  Each day I was able to model a demonstration lesson for the teachers, which was then followed by a healthy discussion about the methods I used and how they could be incorporated into a Chinese classroom.  I really wanted to focus on three main methods with the teachers

1.  Integrating writing and literacy into math
2.  Using manipulatives to introduce new skills
3. Guided math groups/centers/differentiation

The first method I introduced was using literacy and writing in math.  I modeled this by reading the Grouchy Ladybug, which, was just too funny to experience.  To start with, there was a major translation issue with the word grouchy.  Eventually, though, my wonderful assistants were able to translate the word in a way the teachers were able to understand.  About 5 or 6 pages into the story though, I started noticing confused looks on everyones face.  After asking my assistant, he informed me that they were very confused about the story.  They couldn’t figure out why the ladybug kept saying that the animals weren’t big enough to fight when she was so tiny.  This was just too funny to me.  The confusion was finally cleared up with “the ladybug is lying”.  It’s amazing how something as simple as pretending to be tough even when you are not could be completely lost on people living in a different culture.  Once it was cleared up, the teachers all found the story to be quite entertaining.  I was quite surprised no one had heard of Eric Carl before.  He is such a staple in US classrooms.  I did find out, though that they do not use very much literacy in the math classroom.  They seemed to really appreciate seeing the lesson modeled for them.
When I had them come into the classroom the first day, I had them write what they believed a good teacher says, is, does, and does not. Their answers were simply inspiring.  It was quite clear how passionate they were about their students.  Their answers are below.  If you click on the images, they should open in a new window where they can be magnified.  The translations are written either on the post it note, or on the white paper near the note.

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I was originally going to post only one blog about the week, but I figure with two typhoons quickly approaching, and all activities cancelled for the weekend, I decided to break up my teaching posts into several blogs with more detail in each to keep me from getting cabin fever during the storms.  Stay tuned for another one tomorrow as I wait out the storms!
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